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The Benefits of New Streamlined AV Platforms and What to Expect in Next-Generation Platforms

The benefits of new streamlined av platforms and what to expect in next-generation platforms

In the next few years, audio-visual technology is poised for some incredible changes that will transform how we experience sound and visuals in our daily lives. Imagine immersing yourself in a virtual world that feels just as real as the physical one or enjoying movies and music with sound quality that’s more lifelike than ever before. These advancements will revolutionize everything from home entertainment to professional presentations, creating new opportunities for creativity and innovation.

Let’s look at how the professional AV landscape has changed over the last decade and how these new technologies will affect how you “view” audio-visual technology in the next few years.

Rapid Change to Meet New Requirements

Hybrid work is the new standard. You might as well embrace it. The shift towards a hybrid working model is a permanent change in the corporate office landscape. Data shows not only is there a stabilization of the desire for a lasting hybrid work arrangement, but more and more white-collar workers are making it a requirement when considering a role. In fact, a USA Today poll demonstrated that “Only 16% of white-collar workers would consider a role that doesn’t offer any days of remote work.”[1]

According to the Pew Research Center, around 22 million employed adults (aged 18 and over) in the U.S. work from home all the time, equal to roughly 14% of all employed adults.[2]

Over the last decade, we’ve seen audiovisual (AV) technology undergo significant transformation, driven by the rise of remote work requirements and the demand for seamless, interactive user experiences. Integrating high-definition video, advanced audio systems, and interactive display technologies has made richer, more immersive presentations and communications possible.

The evolving workplace landscape has not only transformed how we work but also influenced the design of conference rooms. There is a discernible shift towards smaller and medium-sized conference spaces, departing from the traditional larger rooms.

Moreover, the rise of platform-based communication tools such as Zoom and Teams has significantly impacted the design of modern conference rooms. While these platforms streamline room layouts and simplify installation processes, they also present challenges and opportunities for the AV industry. On the one hand, they encourage standardization in room design, enhancing ease of use; on the other, they might restrict flexibility and customization options that were previously available.

Today’s Work Environments Have Facilitated New Technologies

As companies shift their budgets and infrastructure to hybrid work environments, digital systems must replace analog systems. The typical analog AV system can experience signal degradation and interference over extended distances, leading to potential quality loss. Conversely, digital AV systems maintain signal integrity, ensuring clearer and higher-quality audio and video transmission. Although analog systems are simpler and more cost-effective, digital counterparts provide enhanced flexibility, compatibility with contemporary devices, and supplementary functionalities such as encryption and compression.

While there are enormous benefits to this change, there are trade-offs. For example, digital AV platforms have streamlined management through remote operations using software interfaces that simplify maintenance and troubleshooting. However, remote maintenance and control (i.e., presentations managed by a remote worker) require Interoperability with several types of devices and manufacturers to allow for non-proprietary compatible devices ranging from tablets to cell phones. This BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach has become an expectation, allowing users to connect their devices easily to AV systems. When tied to the rise of hybrid work models, seamless connectivity and ease of use are critical for effective collaboration between remote and on-site participants. Don’t forget that embracing cloud-based AV solutions is also necessary to enable scalability, remote management, and integration with other online platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

The latest trends in this transition have been AI and machine learning, which have introduced capabilities like automated camera tracking, real-time translation, and enhanced audio clarity through noise-canceling algorithms. Moreover, AV over IP (Audio-Visual over Internet Protocol) has been a game-changer for us, allowing for more flexible and scalable deployments by transmitting AV signals over standard network infrastructure. These advancements have collectively transformed AV technology from a supporting role to central to our modern communication and collaboration strategies.

Economic and Cost Considerations

While smaller, more optimized conference rooms require less real estate, companies should consider the costs of integrating these new technologies. Issues such as supply chain and economic inflation have mandated cost increases for most manufacturers, but these are stabilizing and showing their long-term benefits over implementing traditional analog conference room environments.

In response to stringent cost controls, there’s been a shift in how we approach technology. A notable trend is the rise of service-based solutions aimed at mitigating costs. Managed services, in particular, have emerged as a prime avenue, offering access to new equipment while guaranteeing state-of-the-art technology maintenance and providing support for platform-based and customized conference rooms.

Our team, for example, has rolled out several services to adapt to these shifts. Technology-as-a-Service (TaaS) has become the go-to method for getting tech solutions in today’s subscription-driven economy. Traditional ownership ties you down to outdated systems, limiting scalability and competitiveness. TaaS offers a fresh approach, bundling hardware, support, and services into a monthly subscription. It helps companies manage costs, preserve working capital, and prioritize outcomes over ownership. Think of it like the flexibility you get from TV cable providers.

Additionally, Audiovisual Service Agreement contracts work like insurance policies, ensuring peace of mind and continuous protection. With these agreements, companies provide expertise and support, guaranteeing optimal system performance and reliability. You’ll enjoy priority service, quick response times, and no additional equipment repair, travel, or labor costs.

Taking a Strategic Approach

Our approach to conference room AV systems is to offer both traditional configurations and standardized platform-based rooms or focus on high-quality custom solutions. By offering it from a consultative and services perspective, we can offer the best platform to meet your organization’s budgetary and technological needs.

The best way to get started is to schedule a no-obligation consult with our team.

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/money/blueprint/business/hr-payroll/remote-work-statistics/

[2] https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/03/30/about-a-third-of-us-workers-who-can-work-from-home-do-so-all-the-time/

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